Plant Based Diets and Your Health
There’s been a lot of talk about plant-based diets recently and their ability to increase health. There’s also been a lot of talk about the risks of such diets as some may be too restrictive, not providing your body with the balanced nutrients it needs. But the good news is, there are many plant-based diets out there right now that are sound, safe, and great for overall health. Let’s take a look at the best ones and what they can do for your overall health.
The Anti-inflammatory Diet is based on foods that help your body to control inflammation. We’re not talking the swelling and redness that occur after you sprain your ankle, but the chronic, systemic, internal inflammation that leads to chronic disease such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The diet is based on whole, natural grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins. While oily fish are encouraged for their anti-inflammatory properties, other animal proteins are best avoided on this plan. The biggest health benefit on this diet is, obviously, the anti-inflammatory benefits, which can reduce chronic illness, infection, and pain, but it’s also a great plan to increase mental acuity as it is high in omega 3 fatty acids and other brain-boosting nutrients. This diet also boosts heart health, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and reduces the overall risk of certain types of cancer.
Although not completely plant-based, the Mediterranean Diet is one that has been around for a quite a few years now. It focuses on reducing red meat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt intake, instead focusing on whole, natural foods prepared with healthy fats and no additives. Veggies are served at every meal, and exercise or moderate activity are required as a part of the overall lifestyle change. Many people love this plan because there are many recipes readily available, and there’s a little bit of room in this diet for some red wine, cheese, and olive oil to keep things interesting. Health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet include weight loss, increased heart health, reduced risk of diabetes, and reduced risk of cancer.
If you’re looking to go completely plant-based, then a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet is the only way to go. These two diets focus on fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds only with no need for animal meat (or any animal products at all for Vegans). When proper levels of protein and healthy fats are maintained, these diets are the ultimate in plant-based nutrition, and they can help to reduce heart disease, decrease risk of cancer, reduce diabetes, and increase weight loss. The huge variety and quantity of veggies also provides the body with lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help all of the body’s systems function at an optimum level, and many people who make the switch to one of these diets report much higher levels of energy and a greater feeling of vitality.